Drownding isn’t a word. But I’m doing it anyway.

It’s back to my woo-woo Lisa the Good Witch therapist, and her hourly rate; which is so high it seems like only the most sad and baffled aging Hollywood wives would be asked to pay it. And me.

Because goddammit, she’s a soul-fixer genius. I don’t care if she DOES believe the midichlorians that incandescence her blood with faerie wisdom that make her that way. I just…she’s good. And as my life goes all tectonic, plates of my existence scraping and shifting to find the spot of least pressure, I need her again.

One of the things Lisa does that is different that other therapists; those who try to help you feel better,  is that she destroys you when you come to her for help, sweet and swift. Other therapists tend to argue with you that you’re not as bad as you think. That you are loved by your friends and family, you are valuable and beautiful on the inside.

But if that were true all mentally struggling people would have to do is religiously adhere to the inspiration boards of their Pinterest accounts, which will tell you the same thing for free.

To Lisa, it is a given, that if you’re enough of a psychological mess to pay her fee, that whatever clusterfuck of coping mechanisms you’re currently employing to survive your days is as sturdy and twisted as the wires in a game of Suspend. So she knocks that effer right over. She cracks your wobbling knee caps with a hideous-truth bat and sends you down to the floor.

You have to admit that you are mostly made of lies held together by bandages before she can start uncovering truth and disinfecting wounds.

I go in thinking, “I need to learn how to cope with my tiny bit of success and not be so tired! End of list!”

Over the course of the hour…

-Wh…wait don’t agree with me when I say I’m a neglectful mother! Where do you get off…I just said I don’t want to be around my kid all day because she’s really annoying!

-Hey! I am NOT a downer! I’m great at parties! As long as it’s not too hot or loud and the other people are drunk enough to laugh easy.

-What do you mean my career will flounder because my grinding depression will eventually chew all my communication abilities into a dead-eyed unending moan?

-Writing is not escapism! It’s work!  Which I do alone in a locked shed my backyard. The combination of which removes me almost completely from my dismal reality. INCIDENTAL!!

-Ha! Desperately seeking to achieve fame and respect from strangers is COMPLETELY unconnected to any mental hang-up I’VE ever heard about.

-It’s not a sign of mental distress that I don’t work, clean, cook, labor, exercise, eat right, or visit the dentist regularly. IT’S MY OWN PERSONAL LIFESTYLE CHOICE!!! PART OF MY GODDAMN UNIQUE BEAUTY!

After a half hour I give up trying to defend myself. She’s watched every major transformation in my life for nine years. Birth and death and anguish that swallowed me up, childish delusions and dream-come-true success. She’s right, she’s always right. I’m a mess.

So I lay and splay over an ottoman, because the weight of it all always flattens me. Lisa lays down on the floor besides me. Her enormous therapy office cat joins us and demonstrates, as if a favor for me, how it looks to be well-adjusted. Recline sideways, yet with soft tummy skyward, close eyes in the utter confidence of yourself and environment. How come HE gets to be fat?

“Virgil’s a good role model huh?” Lisa says looking at the cat.

Virgil and Dante in the Ninth Circle of Hell by Gustave Doré

“Virgil?? You named the cat who hangs out around miserable suicidal people in your office all day VIRGIL? Why would you DO that??”

“Oh! Jeez, why is it bad?”

“Virgil led Dante through the nine circles of Hell! You might as well have called him “Soul-Harvester.”

“Oh! Who’s Dante?”

I have my head far enough up my own ass when it comes to literature that I give her the MOST condescending look of shock, as if she asked what a “book” was. It was extra bad because of earlier, when on the third occurrence of her usage, I grabbed her shoulder and hiss-whispered, “There is no such word as ‘DROWNT’. Or Drownding. It’s just drown!” She laughed and thanked me for correcting her.

“Dante’s Inferno?…”Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here? He went through the nine circles of hell and back up with Virgil as his guide.”

“Oh!” she said brightly, “I didn’t know that! That’s cool! Cuz it’s my job to guide people through their own hell right here in this room and back out again! What a good name!”

See she’s always coming up with perfect shit like that. Just…arg. All her planets are in permanent alignment, except when they aren’t and then that’s because the universe is urging to make changes toward even greater happiness. Goddammit. And for eight years she’s just been getting wealthier and happier and more fulfilled and loved. Goddammit. 

I curse because all that adds up to my having no reason to not once again place my faith in her. Her road map out of MY hell contains every jab and ache and blister the Devil (who, by the way, is my own self, of course, hi!) could inflict. All of which you have to allow, all of which you have to take the full pain of; bruise, burn and cuts alike. To do otherwise is to cower, and when a person cowers, they stand still.

I’m paying too much money to waste that kind of time.




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